Raiders coach refuses to heed Davis' call to resign
Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis has been pushing for coach Lane Kiffin to resign and is considering Dennis Green as a potential replacement, sources close to Kiffin and the team said.
Davis has gone so far as to draft a letter of resignation for Kiffin to sign, a source said. Kiffin has refused to do so but has dared Davis to fire him instead. The letter, the source said, was sent to Kiffin two weeks ago.
Kiffin, who was 4-12 in his first season as coach, has two years remaining on his contract at an estimated $2 million per year.
In the letter sent to Kiffin's legal representatives, Davis stated that only he would have control over his staff and full personnel decisions, sources said. According to a source close to Kiffin, Davis had promised Kiffin when he hired him that he would have more control over staff and personnel matters than recent Raiders coaches. Kiffin was allowed five offensive assistants and to name his own staff when he took the job after the 2006 season.
"I'm not going to comment on anything that has transpired in the past three weeks," Kiffin said from Mobile, Ala., where he and the Raiders staff are coaching the North team in the Under Armour Senior Bowl college all-star game.
According to John Herrera, senior executive of the Raiders, "it's a non-issue. It hasn't been an issue and Dennis Green has already debunked the report," he told Bay Area reporters.
Kiffn and Davis clashed near the conclusion of their postseason evaluation meetings when Kiffin expressed his desire to fire defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, a source said. Ryan wanted out to join the New York Jets in a similar capacity, but the Raiders released a statement asking for speculation to cease about the defensive coordinator's future.
Not Raiding The Win Column
Since the Raiders' 48-21 loss to the Buccaneers in the 2002 Super Bowl, Oakland hasn't done much winning. In fact, Oakland has gone 19-61 since that Super Bowl loss.
Just this week at the Senior Bowl, Kiffin and Ryan said their relationship was fine and expected to be coaching the team in 2008. But Davis has not rescinded his request for Kiffin to step down, a source said.
As for Green's candidacy, while team sources said Davis has reached out to the veteran coach, Green said Friday, "I haven't really talked to Al about any coaching job but, really, how many times has my name been mentioned every time something goes on with the Raiders?"
The Raiders will interview James Lofton on Monday for a job, a source said. Oakland is looking for a wide receivers coach and Lofton, who has interviewed in the past to be head coach of the Raiders, was recently fired as San Diego's receivers coach.
Chris Mortensen covers the NFL for ESPN.
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